There are so many ways to prepare for bringing a new baby home. Chances are, by the end of your pregnancy you’ve probably picked a name (or at least narrowed down the list), decorated a nursery, and bought lots of cute onesies and footie pajamas. I am very much a person that likes to be prepared and I did all these things and more, to prepare to bring our first baby home. Now that I’m about to give birth to our second child, I’ve learned a lot. Here are 5 additional ways to prepare to bring your new little one home.
1. Meal Prep
Meal prepping was a HUGE help to me after I had my first child. Friends and family brought meals or takeout for probably the first 2 weeks after getting home from the hospital, which is single-handedly the most helpful thing you can do for any new parents. But after those 2 weeks my husband returned to work and I was on my own with a newborn all day. Having easy to put together meals in my freezer helped me immensely. Our little guy was born in January and I prepped things like soups, chilis, spaghetti sauce, and meatloaf. Most things were ready to be thrown into the oven, crockpot, or heated up on the stove. It was convenient and we ate healthier because I had planned ahead. I 100% plan on doing this at the end of my current pregnancy as well.
2. Put Together a “Postpartum Kit”
Very few people tell you what to really expect after giving birth. Your body goes through some super significant changes, and if I’m being honest, trauma, after bringing another human into the world. I had seen posts on Pinterest that future moms were putting together “postpartum kits” for after they had their baby. A postpartum kit is basically a basket or small tote you keep in the bathroom filled with maxi pads, dermaplast spray, tucks pads, a squirt bottle, breast pads, and any other items you may find necessary after giving birth. You probably don’t need to buy all this ahead of time, as the hospital will send you home with a lot of these things. But I definitely appreciated having something like that put together for when we got home from the hospital.
3. Set Up Necessary Childcare and Pet Care
With the birth of our first child, we obviously didn’t need to set up any childcare. We do have 2 dogs we needed to make sure were taken care of though when it was finally go-time. I made sure to call the doggy daycare we have taken them to in the past and ensured they would be able to take them potentially last minute when I went into labor. They assured me they would take care of them and I had a bag packed and ready to go for them with their food, bowls, toys, etc.
This time around, we also have a 2-year-old that we will need to make arrangements for. Setting up someone who we trust to watch our son and dogs, and where it will happen ahead of time takes a lot of stress off my plate and ensures that my husband and I can focus on the task at hand – bringing another little life into the world.
The last few weeks of pregnancy might be your last chance for some serious self-care! So go get that prenatal massage, facial, or pedicure you desperately need. Get a fresh haircut and invest in some cute comfy loungewear. Trust me, these are things you won’t necessarily have an excess of time for after baby arrives. Enjoy it while you can! And not to mention, you’ve been growing another person inside your body for the last 9 months. Mama, you deserve that manicure.
5. Don’t Forget About the Must-Dos
Install your carseat! This is the one thing you absolutely have to do before bringing your baby home. Follow all directions and reach out to a CPST (certified Child Passenger Safety Technician) if you need any help at all. Car seat safety is definitely not something to take lightly.
You will also want to make sure you have a hospital bag packed a few weeks before your due date. I personally recommend not taking a whole lot more than you need. I take some comfy lounge clothes, a nursing bra or 2, minimal toiletries/makeup, clothes for your spouse/partner, going home outfits for myself and baby, phone charger, and some snacks. The hospital will have pretty much everything you need for baby – diapers, wipes, diaper cream, blankets, etc. will all be supplied for you.
I hope you find this list helpful in bringing a new baby home. Giving birth and growing your family is probably the most life-changing thing a person can go through. It’s wonderful in so many ways but there is always an adjustment period. I think going easy on yourself and preparing ahead of time helps so much as you navigate the postpartum period. Good luck mama!